Academic journal article Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport

Changes in Body Size of Elite High School Football Players during a Time of Popular and Legislative Interest in Anabolic Steroids over Four Decades

Academic journal article Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport

Changes in Body Size of Elite High School Football Players during a Time of Popular and Legislative Interest in Anabolic Steroids over Four Decades

Article excerpt

Anabolic steroid (AS) use among high school athletes was first systematically documented in 1971, with 2.5% of athletes having used. By 1988, it was reported that 6.6% of male high school seniors nationwide had used AS; this subsequently led to the first real media attention paid to young athletes' use of AS, as well as the first primary effort to legislate nonprescription use of AS, the AS Control Act in 1990. Further legislation was passed in 2004, again partly based on the reported use of AS among young athletes, as well as attention being paid worldwide to highly publicized doping reports. As a way to illustrate effects AS may have had on young athletes, a visible time line reflecting popular national and legislative efforts regarding AS was plotted, overlaid with the height and weight of elite high school football players over a period of 42 years. Each year, Parade Magazine publishes its Parade High School All-American Football Team, as voted on by high school and collegiate scouts. The sample used for this study was all lineman designated All-American from 1963 to 2005, for a total N of 379. Reported body mass index (BMI, which equals weight in kg divided by height in meters squared) was used as the primary variable for each lineman. To provide a comparison group, a nationwide BMI sample of young men ages 18--24 years from cross-sectional surveys conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics over the study years was used. …

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